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CNN Today

CNN 20: Abolition of Apartheid Laws, February 1, 1991

Aired February 1, 2000 - 1:53 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FREDERIK DE KLERK, SOUTH AFRICAN PRESIDENT: The basis of the new South Africa should be justice. The great majority of South Africans desire a just state.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Although Mr. de Klerk, himself, was not really responsible alone for what happened, he was merely the sum of parts of his particular party. He certainly was the ideal person in the right place at the right time because it was patently clear when he made the speech that he meant what he was saying, that he may not have liked what was going to happen, but certain he was going to do everything that he could to make sure that happened smoothly.

Among the white minority there was shock, surprise. Among the black majority, there was suspicion. Nobody quite believed that this final step had been taken.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NELSON MANDELA: The reality is that Apartheid is still in force. We still have no voice. We can't be members of parliament. The police are still harassing, persecuting, even killing our people.

DE KLERK: We are now able to look guard with greater confidence...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HANNA: In the months on intense negotiations that followed that speech of his in parliament, Mr. de Klerk played an absolutely fundamental role, together with Nelson Mandela, in holding the whole process together. And there was a particular chemistry that allowed the process to happen far more smoothly than anybody could have possibly expected.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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